Observational Constraint on the Climate Sensitivity to Atmospheric CO<SUB>2</SUB> Concentrations Changes Derived from the 1971-2017 Global Energy Budget - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Climate Year : 2022

Observational Constraint on the Climate Sensitivity to Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Changes Derived from the 1971-2017 Global Energy Budget

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Abstract

The estimate of the historical effective climate sensitivity (histeffCS) is revisited with updated historical observations of the global energy budget in order to derive an observational constraint on the effective sensitivity of climate to CO2 (CO2effCS). A regression method based on observations of the energy budget over 1971-2017 is used to estimate the histeffCS (4.34 [2.17; 22.83] K: median and 5%-95% range). Then, climate model simulations are used to evaluate the distance between the histeffCS and the CO2effCS. The observational estimate of the histeffCS and the distance between the histeffCS and the CO2effCS are combined to derive an observational constraint on CO2effCS of 5.46 [2.40; 35.61] K. The main sources of uncertainty in the CO2effCS estimate comes from the uncertainty in aerosol forcing and in the top of the atmosphere energy imbalance. Further uncertainty arises from the pattern effect correction estimated from climate models. There is confidence in the lower end of the 5%-95% range derived from our method because it relies only on reliable recent data and it makes full use of the observational record since 1971. This important result suggests that observations of the global energy budget since 1971 are poorly consistent with climate sensitivity to CO2 below 2.4 K. Unfortunately, the upper end of the 5%-95% range derived from the regression method is above 30 K. This means that the observational constraint derived from observations of the global energy budget since 1971 is too weak (i.e., the uncertainty is too large) to provide any relevant information on the credibility of high CO2effCS.
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insu-03863749 , version 1 (21-11-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Jonathan Chenal, Benoît Meyssignac, Aurélien Ribes, Robin Guillaume-Castel. Observational Constraint on the Climate Sensitivity to Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Changes Derived from the 1971-2017 Global Energy Budget. Journal of Climate, 2022, 35, pp.4469-4483. ⟨10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0565.1⟩. ⟨insu-03863749⟩
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